wook77: (dancing)
With the recent spate of suicides, I'm fairly enraged and depressed and disheartened. It's nice seeing the Spirit Day Remembrance on October 20th. My question is - what are we going to do on October 19th? What about October 21st? What about January 3rd?

I don't mean this as a slight to the thought behind the Spirit Day Remembrance. It's a great, unifying action and I'll be wearing purple on that day.

Thing is, though, one unifying action, no matter how great, isn't a change in behavior. It's not a change in habit and it can be easily forgotten (not that I'm saying it will be).

I'd like to see a change in behavior, a change in habit, a unifying ongoing action. My suggestion is kindness. The next time someone holds a door open for you, smile at them and say thank you. The next time you're standing in line with hundreds of groceries and the person behind you has one, smile at them and offer to better their day so they don't have to wait for you. When someone says 'hello' to you, smile and say hello back.

You don't know what sort of day someone's having and that small act of kindness could very well make their day. I've had days where the only thing that was keeping me going was the idea that it took less energy to get through it than to end it and no one could've known but, thank the maker for the woman who held the door for me with a smile and a quick "anytime!" and for the guy that let me in front of him in line so I could get home and away from everything awful in my life. Thank the maker for the guy that let me out in traffic or the person who smiled at me and asked me how my day was going. Thank you to the person that bought my pop and the guy that offered to fill my tire when all I wanted to do was cry, hunched down beside my car in a Circle K parking lot because a flat tire was the straw that broke the camel's back as far as I was concerned.

Show you care about your fellow human beings every day.

If you have the time, volunteer for organizations. Obviously, I'm partial to animal welfare and LGBT organizations. Deliver meals to those suffering from AIDS. Work with troubled youth. Work with Big Brothers/Big Sisters. Teach a hobby at your local youth center. Walk dogs at your local shelter and/or pet cats. Read to kids at the library or go through your stuff and donate what you don't use anymore (do you really fit into those jeans anymore? really?). Reach out and show that you care, every freaking day.

Get involved. It only takes a moment to send a letter to your congressperson and/or senator to tell them to support anti-bullying legislation that specifically protects LGBT youth. It's called the Safe Schools Improvement Act. It doesn't matter who your senator is, get involved (and I'm speaking as someone with John McCain and John Kyl as their senators here, so I've got the bigots and I'm still sending the letters). Hold them accountable.

Vote. Find out what officials are up for election and see what ones are LGBT friendly. Human Rights Campaign has a great way of doing it. Turns out that only one of my elected officials is endorsed. Guess who I'm not voting for - John McCain, John Kyl and Jan Brewer. Way to go, Gabrielle Giffords!

Stop saying "that's so gay" and ask others, too. When you say that, you are saying that "gay" = "stupid", "dumb", "ugly" and/or "awful". You are using a unique identifier as an insult and you are actively participating in a bullying culture.

Speak up. Where would Tyler Clementi have been if anyone had reached out to him and showed they cared? What would've happened if just one person watching that Twitter feed had spoken up and shut down the broadcast? What would've happened if one person would've said STFU to the bullying dumbfucks in any of the suicides? Would Seth Walsh, Billy Lucas or Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover be here right now if we would stick up for people when we see awful things happening?

Because one day is a fantastic show of solidarity but what do we do afterwards? Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover died on April 6th, 2009 and cries for stronger approaches to bullying happened then. We had the National Day of Silence (coincidentally on his birthday, April 17th, 2009) and what happened after that? What's happened since? Just more of the same if not even worse things. Let's not just talk the talk, let's walk the walk.

You want a kinder world? The world starts with you. It might only cost you a smile and a second's worth of time.
wook77: (karl urban is a badassmotherfucker)
Everything I Needed to Know About Life, I Learned From Sesame Street (and Mister Hooper)

Sesame Street's anniversary makes me grin and shake my head and realize that I'm getting old. I grew up on Sesame Street. To really get an understanding of how much Sesame Street, 3-2-1 Contact, Electric Company and Mister Roger's Neighborhood meant to me, I need to explain where I grew up and what little exposure to the outside world I had.

I lived out in the middle of bumfuck. We had 20 acres, most of which went back to woods with deer that would walk around our orchard looking for fruit. We had a garden that was a few acres big and we, for the most part, grew all of our veggies and fruit. We made our own jelly, canned our own tomatoes and I cannot tell you how awesome it was to steam up our own asparagus.

My driveway was half a mile long and we owned a snowplow that broke more often than it worked. We lived in a huge dip in the road and that dip resulted in me, literally, walking uphill both ways to school. In the snow. My walk to the school bus was over a mile long. One year, for Girl Scouts, as part of our environmental awareness campaign, we had to count the cars that drove past a major intersection near our houses at rush hour. I had 3. All day. For sitting at that intersection for 4 hours.

So all this is to say that there's a reason we only got three stations, the local ABC affiliate, the local NBC affiliate and PBS. Cable? HA! We would've had to pay for the poles to go down our street and our driveway!My family and I devoured the PBS because it was either that or movies (rented from the nearest movie rental place that was a 30 minute drive away and was a mom-and-pop store) as far as young children went. We watched everything. 3-2-1 Contact was huge in our house. I learned about electricity and helping others and science. Mister Roger, on the other hand, scared me. It had something to do with the changing the sweaters and the shoes. IDK, my little kid brain was weird. Or, god, Captain Kangaroo. That show ROCKED.

But, by and far, the most popular show in my house was Sesame Street. I remember Gordon, Luis, Maria, Linda, and Bob. I remember signing along with the songs and dancing about as Big Bird and Oscar taught me about caring and sharing. I remember learning a bit of Spanish and that pinball routine where they taught you to count. (and I might still sing it) here is a link and you'll be singing it for hours afterwards. It's addictive.

I remember learning about death when Mister Hooper died (offscreen) of a heart attack. I remember my mum and dad sitting down with my older sister, my older brother and me and talking to us about how sometimes, when people get old, their hearts give out. I remember crying and wondering where Mister Hooper was because who was going to run the store and sell paperclips to Bert if Mister Hooper wasn't there.

I just rewatched it again and, I'm not ashamed to admit, I still teared up and sniffled.
Moar on Mister Hooper and Sesame Street )

What's your favorite episode of Sesame Street? What do you remember from it? What's your favorite muppet?

my favorite are mostly embedded below )
wook77: (Deamus with Seamus)
Random poll/discussion for the day...

In PS/SS, the Sorting Hat took almost a minute to decide where to Sort Seamus. Obviously it settled on Gryffindor but what other House could it have thought of?

Feel free to leave a comment as to your reasoning. I'd love to hear your input because I'm undecided.

[Poll #838737]

January 2012



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